The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) today granted preliminary approval of our plans to convert the fuel source of Valley Power Plant (VAPP) to natural gas and to upgrade the natural gas infrastructure near the facility.
We announced our intent to convert the fuel source for VAPP from coal to natural gas in August 2012 and filed plans with the PSCW in April 2013. We will await the final written order before proceeding with construction, but we anticipate completion of the project by late 2015 or early 2016.
“We are pleased with the commission’s decision to approve our plan to convert the fuel source at Valley Power Plant from coal to natural gas,” said Gale Klappa, chairman, president and chief executive officer of We Energies. “Along with improving the environmental profile of the plant, the conversion will provide millions of dollars in savings to our electric customers annually and will maintain a reliable and affordable source of heat and energy to more than 400 downtown steam customers.”
The plant’s electric capacity is expected to remain at 280 megawatts. The current cost estimate of conversion is approximately $70 million.
Located along the Menomonee River in Milwaukee, VAPP is a cogeneration facility that generates electricity for the grid and produces reliable steam for nearly 450 customers in downtown Milwaukee. Analysis shows that converting the fuel source for the plant will reduce operating costs and enhance the environmental performance of the units.